Two more key players hit the road, Jack

  • Brison Gresham, center, of UMass, moves the ball between Dayton defenders Kyle Davis, left, and Ryan Mikesell, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. daily haMPSHIRE GAZETTE PHOTO

  • Airborne UMass freshman guard DeJon Jarreau passes off amid Rider defenders during a game this past season at the Mullins Center in Amherst. The 6-foot-5 guard was the jewel of departed coach Derek Kellogg’s last recruiting class, and he isn’t sticking around with Kellogg gone. DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE PHOTO

  • UMass Lowell’s Ryan Jones, left, defends against UMass Amherst’s DeJon Jarreau Nov. 11 during the men’s basketball season opener game for UMass Amherst at the Mullins Center. DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE PHOTO

  • Jeff Dowtin, right, of URI, strips the ball from DeJon Jarreau, of UMass, Tuesday at the Mullins Center. DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE PHOTO

For The Recorder
Friday, April 21, 2017

Incoming UMass men’s basketball coach Matt McCall’s job at UMass just transitioned to a rebuild.

Highly touted freshmen Brison Gresham and DeJon Jarreau both announced via Twitter Wednesday that they planned to transfer from UMass and had been granted their release from the school to do so.

They posted matching announcements on Twitter that read:

“I would like to take this time to say “Thanks” to the UMass community, alumni, professors, educational staff, previous coaching staff and Loyal/Faithful fans for the love, hospitality and support through my 1st year of my college career.

“After highly considering my career path with my family, HS and AAU coach, we decided to request a release from The Umass Basketball program.

“Lastly, I would like to say ‘Thanks’ to the new coaching staff for their understanding in our request and granting it immediately. Thanks y’all!”

The two New Orleans natives committed to UMass together and are leaving together. Both expressed disappointment when Derek Kellogg was fired after the season. Each will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out one year per NCAA transfer rules. Both are expected to attract high major interest.

Neither player, nor coach Matt McCall could be reached for comment

Jarreau, a 6-foot-5 guard was the jewel of Derek Kellogg’s final recruiting class, which was the school’s highest rated incoming group in the last two decades. He averaged 9.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game and had a game-winning 3-pointer against Temple.

Gresham, a 6-foot-9 big man who became eligible six games into the season, showed promise, averaging 3.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in 12.0 minutes. He started 13 games.

Jarreau and Gresham leave UMass with just seven or eight remaining scholarship players, barring further transfers. Donte Clark has declared for the NBA draft and hasn’t determined whether he planned to return to UMass if he withdrew from the draft.

Rashaan Holloway, Luwane Pipkins, Malik Hines and Unique McLean have all sat out a year already and C.J. Anderson has only one year remaining, making them unlikely to transfer. Ty Flowers and Chris Baldwin each have three years remaining and could draw interest if they choose to move on.

Juniors Zach Lewis, Zach Coleman and Seth Berger had previously announced they were transferring.